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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-75

Are semen parameters worsening? Comparing semen parameters 10 years apart

1 Nordica Fertility Center, 106 Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Health Research Department, Health, Environment and Development Foundation, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Bamgboye M Afolabi
Health, Environment and Development Foundation, 34 Montgomery Road, Yaba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.219350

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Background: Semen parameters, especially sperm count and motility have been said to be diminishing over time with implications for fertility and infertility treatment. Objective: The objective of this study was to study semen parameters 10 years apart and describe any observed change. Design: A retrospective study carried out at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. Semen parameters of 100 consecutive men who sought fertility treatment on account of infertility in 2003 and semen parameters of 100 consecutive men who also sought fertility treatment at the center in 2013 on account of infertility were analyzed and compared. A paired t-test was performed to ascertain whether sperm counts have diminished over the last decade. The World Health Organization semen values were used as standard. Main Outcome Measures: They are sperm count, motility, and mean progressive motility. Results: The mean sperm count in the 2003 group was 34.6 × 106/ml (range: 0.1–105.0 106/ml) compared with 21.8 × 106/ml (range: 0.1–80.0 × 106/ml) in the 2013 group. The mean motility was 47.9% in the 2003 group and 45.3% in the 2013 group. The mean progressive motility in the 2003 group was predominantly graded as good (50% good, 44% fair, 2% poor, 4% no motility) while in the 2013 group, the predominant grade of mean progressive motility was fair (15% good, 81% fair, 4% poor). Normal morphology was more commonly seen in the 2013 group compared to the 2003 group. Mean semen volume was 2.7 and 2.6 ml in 2003 and 2013 groups, respectively. The mean difference in sperm count (mean = 12.8, standard deviation = 31.6, n = 100) was significantly >0 providing evidence that sperm counts have diminished in the last decade. Conclusion: There was a statistically significant 37% drop in mean sperm count and mean progressive motility worsened in the last decade. These may have far-reaching effects on infertility and its treatment.

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